House Impeaches President Trump in Historic Vote: A Closer Look

-Today, Donald Trump became the third President in history to be impeached. For more on this it’s time for “A.

-Today, Donald Trump became
the third President in history
to be impeached. For more on this it’s time
for “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] Well, here we are. President Trump
has been impeached. You know. The serial racist criminal who’s
already cheated in one election, obstructed justice in the
investigation of that election, used his office to enrich
himself, solicited bribes, inflicted human rights abuses
on migrant families, been accused
of sexual assault, had six close associates
indicted or jailed, you remember that guy? [ Laughter ] No, you know, the guy who almost
definitely committed tax fraud, admitted he broke the law
by misusing his personal charity to help his campaign,
began his presidency by settling a fraud lawsuit
over his scam university, orchestrated an extortion scheme
to cheat in the 2020 election, tried to cover it up,
got caught, obstructed Congress, directed an illegal scheme to pay hush money
to cover up an affair, and drove his golf cart
onto the green. [ Laughter and applause ] Yeah, that guy. And yet, Republicans are still
pretending to be surprised that there are people who take
issue with President Trump. This is like one of those
news stories where a guy gets arrested
for being a serial killer
for 40 years and reporters go
to his neighbors and ask, “Did you suspect anything,”
and they say, “Well, one time, I saw him with a chainsaw
wearing a hockey mask, but I just assumed
he was a lumberjack who played in the NHL.” [ Laughter ]
Now as we tape this, we’re expecting
the actual final vote to impeach Donald Trump
to happen any minute now. I mean, like,
right after we tape this and because we’re taping
right before the vote, that means we don’t have
video of the actual moment Trump was impeached. So as a placeholder,
we’d like to show you the second most embarrassing
thing to happen to Donald Trump, this clip of him
getting on Air Force One with toilet paper
stuck to his shoe. [ Laughter ] Because much like
the toilet paper, impeachment will follow Trump
wherever he goes. [ Laughter and applause ] In fact, I hope they put the
toilet paper in the Smithsonian next to the articles
of impeachment. [ Laughter ] Now, after a series
of procedural votes in the House this morning,
there were hours of debate on the actual articles
themselves. And to give you an idea of the
contrast between the two sides, here’s a sampling of some of
the pro-impeachment speeches during the floor debate. -It is tragic that
the President’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice. -President Trump
has demonstrated a clear pattern of wrongdoing. -No one in America could do
what Donald Trump did and get away with it. -And it is our duty
to impeach him. -No President may cheat
the people by working with foreign
governments to steal from us, a free and fair election. -He solicited foreign
interference before, he is doing it now,
and he will do it again. The President
is the smoking gun. -It’s true. Trump broke the law
in plain sight and admitted it.
He is the smoking gun. It’s like if the cop showed up
to the crime scene and there was Trump holding
a gun with his name on it and a piece of toilet paper on
the ground with his shoe print. [ Laughter ]
Now, compare to those speeches presenting evidence
of Trump’s impeachable offenses to the whiny rambling
of the Republicans. -I strongly oppose the articles
before us today and I hope that we will finally
move past this nightmare! -The matter before the House
today is based solely on a fundamental hatred
of our President. It’s a sham, a witch hunt,
and it’s tantamount to a coup. He’s rebuilding our military, he helped create
the space force. -We tied up
the Intelligence Committee, we tied up
the Judiciary Committee, and, oh, by the way,
the Ways and Means committee
had to give up their room. They couldn’t even meet while
you were doing all of this. -They want to take away my vote
and throw it in the trash. They want to
take away my President. -I believe the Democrats are
tearing this country apart. They’re tearing families apart. -First of all, it is rich
to accuse Democrats of tearing families apart
to defend a president who is literally
tearing families apart. Second —
[ Cheers and applause ] Second, they all sound like bratty teens
yelling at their parents. Stop coming in my room, you’re
tearing this family apart, I have to build
my Lego space force! [ Laughter ] So the House passed two articles
of impeachment against Trump. And if you ask me,
he got off easy with only two. Remember that dumb press
conference Trump did before he was inaugurated
where he lied and said he’d hand off
control of his businesses to his weird gargoyle sons and stood next to stacks of
folders full of business documents
that turned out to be blank, and then, for some reason,
just wandered off the stage like a confused old man? Democrats should have done that but with articles
of impeachment. This folder is for
soliciting bribes, this folder
for human rights abuses. And this folder is for the way Trump stands with his chest
puffed out, you know, like he’s trying
to get his hoverboard To go forward. [ Laughter ] Looks like he’s
waiting for someone to throw bird seed on the ground
so he can peck at it. [ Laughter ] So Trump is now
the third President in history to be impeached. Now obviously, he’ll very likely
be acquitted by the Republican Senate. But still, this judgment
will follow his name in history forever.
And as we all know, there’s nothing Donald Trump
cares about more than his name. He puts it on everything
from his tower to his helicopter
to his private jet. They’re going to have to change
the name from Trump to “Impeachment Airlines.”
[ Laughter ] Okay, folks,
we’re going to fly you about halfway
to your destination, and then, another airline
will have to take you the rest of the way.
[ Laughter ] In fact, Trump cares so much about protecting his name
and his place in history, which will be permanently
marred by impeachment, that yesterday, he sent
what can only be described as a truly
deranged six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
whining about impeachment. Before we get into the worst
parts of the letter, just listen to how it starts. This is the first line —
“Dear Madam Speaker, I write to express my strongest
and most powerful protest against the partisan
impeachment crusade.” Alright, first of all,
we’ve already seen your strongest
and most powerful protest. All those times
in the Oval Office where you scream
like a lunatic. I mean, look at it. Looks like
something your tour guide would tell you to stay away from
during a boat ride through the Amazon River. [ Laughter ] But Trump’s letter
just gets crazier. Here’s just a sampling of
some of the most bat[bleep] lines from this
official document on White House letterhead. And just for fun, I’m going to
read it like a cartoon villain. “You have cheapened
the importance of the very ugly
word impeachment. You are declaring open war
on American democracy. It is a terrible thing
you are doing, but you will have
to live with it, not I.” [ Laughter ] “You have developed
a full-fledged case of what many in the media
call Trump derangement and sadly,
you will never get over it. You are the ones bringing pain
and suffering to our republic for your own selfish personal,
political and partisan gain. Once the phone call was made
public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn’t stop you
from continuing, and now,
I will twirl my mustache while I tie you
to these railroad tracks.” [ Laughter ] But my favorite line from
Trump’s insane letter is this. “Since the moment I won
the election, the Democratic Party has been
possessed by impeachment fever. Impeachment fever sounds like
he’s narrating an old newsreel about the Beatles landing
in America. Impeachment fever
is sweeping the nation. Look at the throngs
of teenagers screaming as they greet
the Fab Four. Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and don’t forget
the dumb one, Donald. Uh-oh, looks like
he’s having trouble with his umbrella again. [ Laughter ] But I think maybe
the most insane line from Trump’s letter was this. “More due process was afforded
to those accused in the Salem
witch trials.” That’s right — Trump compared impeachment to the Salem
witch trials. But hey, you know. At least they didn’t compare it
to the Bible. I mean, that would be insane. Even Republicans aren’t
deranged enough to compare Trump to Jesus. -I want you to keep this
in mind. When Jesus was falsely accused
of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity
to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded
more rights to Jesus than the Democrats
have afforded this President in this process. -Jesus. [ Laughter ]
I mean — I mean that literally,
they actually compared him to — These people are
out of their minds! Soon, they’re going to start
claiming they saw images of Trump appear in their food. It was a miracle. I saw Trump’s
face in a piece of toast. [ Laughter ] But Trump has also been
complaining that Democrats are abusing
the impeachment process as was laid out
on the Constitution. And in particular, Trump has
complained multiple times recently that impeachment
is only supposed to be used sparingly
and reserved for presidents who have committed
even more crimes than he has. -It meant something. When you had serious
high crimes and misdemeanors. When you had serious crimes —
it’s impeachment. That would happen
every 50 years, every 40 years,
every 100 years. This was a big deal. I think it’s a horrible thing to be using the tool
of impeachment, which is supposed to be
used in an emergency, and it would seem many,
many, many years apart. -It’s not supposed to be
many, many years apart. Impeachment’s not Halley’s
Comet. It’s a fire truck. It shows up
when there’s a fire. [ Laughter ]
You’re not allowed to say, “We can only use that hydrant
once every 50 years. Sorry about your house.” Trump also continued to put his
Republican supporters in a bind by insisting that the phone call
with the president of Ukraine was not just unimpeachable
but perfect and he refused to take
any responsibility at all for what was
happening to him. -Mr. President, do you take
any responsibility for the fact that you’re
about to be impeached? -No, I don’t take any,
zero, to put it mildly. They took a perfect phone call that I had with
the president of Ukraine, an absolutely perfect call. You know it, they all know it, nothing was said wrong
in that call. -No, we don’t know that
because it’s not true. Trump’s like a guy at a party telling you
an embarrassing story who assumes the same thing
has happened to you. “The other night,
I ate too much chili, got drunk, went to karaoke,
puked, slipped on the puke, farted and split my pants. You know, guys, you’ve been
there, we’ve all been there.” [ Laughter ] Whenever Trump does this,
he makes it impossible for even his staunchest allies
to defend him. Just take GOP
Congressman Doug Collins, who was asked during
yesterday’s impeachment hearing was Trump’s call perfect? And Collins, instead of
answering the simple question, spewed a bunch of incoherent
nonsense until he just gave up. -Was the President’s call
with President Zelensky perfect, as the President has said, and was it appropriate for him
to ask another country to investigate
an American citizen? -As I’ve said before, there was
nothing wrong with the call, and then, when you look at it,
again, I — frankly, the last — The problem I’m having right now is exactly the last
15 minutes of this. Great oratory on a lot of things that mean nothing
to this actual impeachment. I mean, get down to the bottom
line here, and — honestly — let him answer that question,
I’m get back to it later — Because everything
has been thrown out here is exactly the what the problem
we’ve had in the discussion, and this idea of —
we’ve disproven the facts, we’ve talked about the law,
put it in the Constitution — so I’m not —
I can yell them both, i can talk about both of them,
the problem we have here is, is, this is the very problem
we have — and I’ll just address one thing
before I let it back, or if you want me
to switch right now I will. -Oh, my God,
what are you talking about? He’s like the worst “Taboo”
partner in history. You know the guy
who just keeps repeating the same words really fast
like it’s going to help? Okay, it’s like,
“Uh, okay, you know, how when there’s nothing wrong,
you know, like, how sometimes you’re wrong
except it’s not wrong, so there’s nothing wrong,
you know, the opposite of wrong, you did nothing wrong,
it’s not wrong, there’s nothing wrong.”
[ Buzzer ] The answer was perfect,
it was a perfect call. Like his fellow Republicans…
[ Applause ] …Collins has also
been complaining about the impeachment
process itself. During both today’s hearing
and yesterday’s hearing, he claimed Democrats were
rushing the impeachment vote. But he kept repeating
a bizarre analogy that was very hard to follow. -The clock and the calendar
are terrible masters. They do not care about anything except getting the time done
and the calendar fixed. They do not care about facts,
they do not care about time, and one day, the clock
and the calendar will hang along this body
in a very detrimental way. The clock and the calendar
are terrible masters. And the majority
will own that problem today. Because to the clock
and the calendar, facts don’t matter. The clock and the calendar
are terrible masters. And they lead to awful results. And yes, there will be
a day of reckoning. The calendar and the clock
will continue. And so, whatever you may gain
will be short-lived. Because the clock
and the calendar also recognize common sense. -What does that mean?
[ Laughter ] The clock and the calendar
are terrible masters, but they also
recognize common sense. That sounds like
an English translation of a German fairytale designed
to make children work harder. [ Laughter ]
It sounds like Werner Herzog narrating
one of his documentaries. Nature has two primal forces, the clock and the calendar
and they are terrible masters, but they understand
common sense, and you cannot outsmart them.
If you befriend the clock, the calendar will kill you
in your sleep and the clock will laugh. [ Laughter ] Tick-tock, tick-tock,
that is how a clock laughs. A clock is always
laughing at you. [ Laughter ] So the President
is an adult lunatic with a tenuous grasp on reality
propped up by a party and a right-wing media apparatus that lies and rambles
nonsensically. In fact, the Republican
contribution to the impeachment debate today
was basically a competition to see who can be
more sycophantic towards Trump. We’ve already had comparisons to the Salem
witch trials and Jesus. At then, at one point today, a GOP Congressman
literally asked for a moment of silence for
the people who voted for Trump. -So I want to use my time
to call on this chamber, for members to rise and observe
a moment of silent reflection. To give every member here
the chance to pause for a moment and remember the voices of
the 63 million American voters the Democrats today
are wanting to silence. -Alright.
If the 63 million who voted for Trump
get a moment of silence, can we also have a moment
for the 66 million who voted against him to go,
whaaaaat the [bleep]? [ Cheers and applause ] What? Among the many important
takeaways today, there’s one very simple one
that everyone should remember
and it’s this. Impeachment is very popular
and Donald Trump is not. Consistently in poll after poll,
about half of Americans say Trump should be impeached
and removed from office. Even a Fox News poll
found this week that 54% of Americans
wanted Trump impeached. And that’s Fox News,
Trump’s favorite channel. That would be like
if the Game Show Network changed their slogan
to “Okay, boomer.” [ Laughter ] What all of this
comes down to is pretty simple. Republicans believe that if
you challenge their power, you are illegitimate.
That’s why they gerrymander, stack the courts, suppress votes
and cheat in elections. And that’s why impeachment
was necessary because we live
in a democracy and Trump tried to corrupt
that democracy by cheating, and now, he’s the third
President ever to be impeached. History
will remember this day because if you learn
anything from Republicans, it’s that Trump will not be
able to run away from — -The clock and the calendar.
[ Laughter ] -This has been “A Closer Look.”

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